Tamron lenses vs. Nikon lenses – Which brand has better lenses?


I am a big fan of any battle of the Brands. Now that I am doing photography full time, you can only guess how many different camera lens brand battle royale there could be. In this comparison review, we are going to take a look at Tamron and Nikon Lenses, and some of their well loved lenses.

When I took on photography as a hobby back in 2005, I did not expect to grow such an in-depth appreciation for the art. Hi, I am NAME and I am what many people like to call a photography nerd. You might tell from that nickname, I’m all about all things photography. As such, many people often approach me with the ‘which would you rather’ question for all sorts of photography devices. One of the fun ones is which lens would you rather this or the other, and I am always elaborate in my responses.

Today, I am going to take on a big one: Tamron vs. Nikon lenses. Both are popularly known makers of lenses among other devices and parts. Here is more on Tamron and Nikon lenses, a few popular models and further insight.

What are the differences between Tamron and Nikon lenses?

Product Variation
Mostly Good
Mostly Great
Optical capabilities
Price Range
Low to medium to high
Low to medium to high to very high

Tamron vs. Nikon – How do these two compare

While not impossible, it is difficult to definitively differentiate between Tamron and Nikon separately. This is because both manufacturers offer an array of lenses, most of which are above decent and


There is a lot that goes into making a lens work. Apart from the exterior design, optics among other elements are important when determining the overall lens quality. Nikon lenses are popularly known for the quality of their lenses, which I too acknowledge can get quite advanced. Tamron have an arsenal of quality lenses which are also quite capable. However, when pit up against each other, Nikon lenses are comparably exhibit higher quality in terms of build, optics and capabilities.


However, you must also acknowledge that price plays a big part in distinguishing between capabilities lens. We must mention however, many users often opt for Tamron lenses when compared towards Nikon lenses, are pretty affordable. This may be because more ‘advanced features’ on Tamron lenses aren’t priced at the same rate they are on Nikon lenses. Generally, Tamron lenses are cheaper lenses that get the job done.

Product Variation

Both Tamron and Nikon have many lenses under their respective theoretical belts. With all these lenses organized into different series, it is even easier to review different types of lenses, various features and tiers of lenses depending on how they are cataloged.

One important distinction to keep in mind is difference in premium lens performance or even quality. For instance, when it comes to mid to high tier lenses, Tamron adds the SP tag along with the name of the model while Nikon uses the FX tag. These aren’t the only advanced series of lenses but quite common. While there are some good options on the SP line, the FX lenses from Nikon are much more advanced in terms of features, and build quality compares to the counterpart SP line.

This shouldn’t stop you from reviewing other series on the Tamron line which also have some great capabilities at affordable rates.

Tamron vs. Nikon – A comparison review

Tamron Lenses are known for their great performance at even better costs. Here are some of the more popular Tamron lenses.

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens– Best Standard Prime lens

The SP 45mm is a high resolution lens that allows the . It is a Di lens in the APS-C format which is meant for full frame cameras. Anyone can utilize the Tamron SP 45mm without worrying about the light conditions. In fact, the unique blend of features and capabilities of this instrument allow for crisp, sharp images even under low light conditions.

Primarily, this performance is all thanks to great optical specifications. Some of these include a high performance full aperture for: f/1.8. Tamron incorporates other great optics to ensure seamless image quality. You may access close focusing distances with the floating system feature.

Additional admirable features on this lens include additions to the optics or even exterior design. For instance, the lens is designed with a 10 element and 8 group optical configuration. This arrangement includes a molded glass aspherical element in addition to the Low dispersion lens element.

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Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045)

The SP 35mm F045 model is one of Tamron’s top grade lenses with superior image quality. This performance is one of the reasons this instrument is included in the Super performance series. With high quality engineering and development on this lens, it can achieve what Tamron calls the ultimate image quality: every photographers dream. This lens consists of an optical structure if 14 elements in 10 groups. This arrangement includes 4 low dispersion senses, with 3 aspherical elements and a BBAR G2 coating. Thus Broad band anti reflection generator 2 is an optical coating designed to minimize the reflections and scattered light.

Additionally, this lens is equipped with lighting quick autofocus that is also very precise. This feature uses the Ultra silent drive motor: one of Tamron’s high tech features. This innovative accuracy and speed autofocus ensures consistency in terms of high AF performance and even improved precision regardless of the extremity in conditions.

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Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 – Best Macro lens

The SP 90mm is a Marco Lens with a reputation for its superior optical quality and performance. It features 9 aperture blades in a circular diaphragm with a minimum F/32 aperture. One special detail about the 90mm Macro Lens from Tamron is that it has a history of successful predecessors, which this model recently replaced. There are many subtle additions to this newer version of this lens. It still upholds the superior performance, especially in relation to. This macro lens incorporates enhanced VC function in addition to other advanced features. An XY Shift compensation is used to help further the image stabilization capabilities at a variety of shooting distances.

The VC featuring Shift Compensation uses an accelerometer that is integrated into the design to help combat shaking and deliver top quality images as we discussed.

Some of the optical specifications for this model include a 90mm focal length obviously. Additionally, the lenses are configured in a 14 element in a 10 group system. A low dispersion element and two extra Low Dispersion elements, glass of course. This is meant to greatly control chromatic aberrations. Using various optical coatings, the 90mm Macro lens can deliver flawless images that are not only clear but devoid of the effect of harsh beams of light.

Build quality is an important feature on a lens. This particular lens is moisture proof in addition to being dust resistant. This not only ensures the lens can endure the elements while lasting you a long time, but it also means you have an extended range and situations in which you can make this lens quite versatile.

Tamron f/2.8 70-200mm SP Di VC USD G2 Best telephoto zoom lens

This lens is a fast telephoto zoom with a fast aperture which is nothing short of a must have when it comes to telephoto lenses. The Tamron 70-200mm is a great telephoto lens that has an array of impressive features optics or otherwise. A focal range of 70-200mm, and a 23 element in 17 group lens configuration are among the few optical specs on this baby.

Using 9 circular aperture blades in a circular diaphragm this lens takes quality images with bokeh that is quite impressive. Yes, this lens also features image stabilization at 5 stop: all according to CIPA standards. Because of the features and design elements incorporated onto the 70-200mm telephoto lens, this isn’t a dainty instrument. As a result of quality optics, the 70-200mm will deliver high quality images.

Operating this lens is not only simple, bit also quite smooth, thanks to the great design in addition to quality materials used on the various rings along the lens. With Tamron’s brilliant water and dirt dealing power, this lens will not only perform under all sorts of environments, but also last you a long time.

What we like about Tamron

  • Extensive range of lenses
  • Cheap yet capable instruments, all of which have
  • Great optic capabilities on many of their lenses

What we don’t like about Tamron

  • The build quality on some Tamron lenses isn’t the best


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Nikon Lenses

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX G

There are several technologies this lens incorporates into its design and make it effective. Among the main technologies include the superior optics. Nikon equips the NIkkor f/1.8G with an aspherical lens within the lens configuration. This is a curved lens with a non spherical surface. One of the benefits of these lens types is reduced aberrations which help achieve compactness to the design. You can rely on such kinds of lenses at any times. Additionally, these lens types help correct distortion which is common in wide angle lens. By continually changing the refractive index from the lens center, aspherical lenses are able to correct said distortions. Other features worth mentioning include the silent wave motor, also known as SWM technology aids the autofocus by converting traveling waves to energy. I won’t bore you with the science behind it but the end result is an accurate and quiet autofocus procedure.

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Nikon AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR – Best standard zoom lens

The Nikon DX sensor format lens is equipped with a 16-80mm focal length.

Nikon describes the NIKKOR AF-S 16-80mm f/2.8-4E DX ED VR lens as a state if the art lens. This super lightweight super zoom at a maximum aperture. From the name, you can tell this instrument is a DX format lens equipped with VR image stabilization. This VR feature allows you to counteract vibration and shaking up to 4.0 stops. This allows users to . Using the Sport Mode you can take great shots even throughout fast action and high intensity sport. Alternatively, the Tripod mode allows use on a tripod without having to worry about the ground vibration constantly affecting image quality.

Thanks to the non stick protective coating used on the surfaces of the glass components, this instrument is water, dust and even smudge proof. Nikon uses a Nano Crystal coat to reduce glare. Surprisingly, the Nikon AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is an all plastic lens with plastic mounts hence he lightweight nature. With its versatile zoom range, you can access wide angle portrait shots. Among other wonderful features on this lens includes a high speed precision witch admirable sharpness.

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Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lenses– Best telephoto zoom lens

Some of the technical specifications on this lens include a focal range of between 70-200mm. It is equipped with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 with a lens configuration in a 21 element in a 16 group arrangement and 77mm filter threads. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 is a full frame lens that works quite well with DX camera. If you are not aware of these formats: the DX and FX formats are the terms used to describe the types of sensors Nikon equips their DSLR cameras. The DX format sensor is a smaller sensor compared to FX format sensor.

The lens is built to last a lifetime thanks to the sturdy metal exterior. However, one notable con is the weight all these quality materials and features used to enable this instrument add to the total weight on this model.

What we like about Nikon

  • Great optics
  • Admirable build quality
  • Overall good performance across the board

What we don’t like about Nikon

  • These lenses can get pretty expensive pretty quick


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Now let’s compare the best Tamron and Nikon telephoto zoom lenses

Tamron f/2.8 70-200mm SP Di VC USD G2
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II
Optical Design
23 element in 17 group
21 element in a 16 group
Image stabilization
Yes VC at 5 stops
Max Aperture


3.28 lbs

7.5 x 3.46 x 3.46 in

3.4 lbs

8.23 x 3.43 x 3.43 in



Because Tamron and Nikon both have a wide variety of lens, it wouldn’t be practical to review all of them here. However, from the few Tamron and Nikon ‘hits’ we have discussed, you can tell both makers go a long way to ensure each model is equipped with not just the basics, but a respectable number of features for great image quality and enjoyable use.


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